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Sunday 08th of November 2009
November 6, 2009    

BA posts record £292m loss for first-half

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by Kay Murchie

Struggling airline British Airways (BA) has today posted a first-half pre-tax loss of £292 million for the six months to 30 September.

The airline admitted during the summer it was fighting to survive and has since been looking at ways to cut costs.

It is struggling to stay afloat during the global economic downturn which has led to a slump in demand. Many airlines have been forced out of business as fewer people are travelling by air.

In particular, BA has been hit by a fall in business class passengers and said revenue fell 13.7% to £4.1 billion during the six-month period.

It is the first time the carrier has posted a loss in the first half of its financial year. Last year it reported a profit of £52 million for the same period.

In a statement, chief executive Willie Walsh, said: “Aviation remains in recession … with revenue likely to be £1 billion lower this year, we can’t stand still and further cost reduction is essential.”

“I’m pleased we are making progress but clearly the results are very disappointing and we need to make significant changes to bring this company to profitability,” added Walsh.

The airline has been in long talks with unions over job cuts and a pay freeze and there is the threat of strike action over the Christmas period.

The International Air Transport Association recently said major airlines continue to suffer amid higher fuel prices.

According to the industry group, losses across the whole industry for the 2009 year could amount to £6.86 billion ($11 billion).

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